Hello again bluesy people! I thought it might be fun today to start a series of posts talking about some of the gear each of us in the CBB uses. Whether you're a gear hound like us, or just a music lover, I think it's always fun to know more about the instruments and gizmos musicians use to bring you the tunes you love. So lets get started!
As a blues band we all have a tendency to prefer simple, vintage and/or vintage inspired rigs. Basically what that means is that due to the old records we're all so heavily influenced by, all our instruments tend to be built and voiced much like instruments were in the early 1950's-1960's. This was a time when electric music really came into its own and innovators like Leo Fender, Jim Marshall, & the Gibson Corp. (among many others) invented and patented most of the technology 99% of electric instrument players still use today. Prior to this time, bands were largely un-amplified and consisted of drums, strings, and horns. (i.e big band orchestras of the swing era). To keep this post as short as I can, for now I'll focus on the guitars of The Chandler Blues Band. So with that being said...
Scarlett is a 2009 50th Anniversary 1959 Gibson Es-335 Reissue. After owning dozens upon dozens of guitars in my life, many of which were es-335s themselves, this one finally found me in 2012. Since then its been my main gigging axe and has been with my on every gig with The Chandler Blues Band. If you've seen us live, you've heard its deep woody, airy, tone. After owning so many great instruments, I can honestly say that this one stays.
A lot of players, myself included, love modding their guitars with different pickups, tuners, inner electronics etc., and while I've played with that idea myself on this guitar, I'm proud to say that everything about this guitar is stock, exactly the way she came from the Gibson factory. With the exception of a small repair its had under the bridge. I could talk for hours about Scarlett, but lets me another guitar shall we?
Meet Kyle Higley's main guitar.
She is a 100% custom Strat style guitar built by Kyle himself. Affectionately known as a "Frankenstrat", Kyle put this guitar together piece by piece. He finished the body, set it up, and even did all the wiring inside. Granted, this may have led to many months of dealing with quirky electrical issues, but after a beautiful over hall from local luthier Boaz Kirschenbaum, an instrument was born that had Kyle's imprint on every inch of it. Like many guitars of great players like Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat, or Stevie Ray's #1, Kyle's guitar is an extension of its owner and when you hold it you really feel the soul dripping off. They used to say that when you picked up Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar the action was high, the neck was crooked, strings were so crazy heavy and it seemed like something nobody else could ever play it.
When you hold Kyle's strat, it has the mark of any great players guitar, in the sense that you feel that its HIS guitar.
And thats what its all about.